Junk art: The art that needs to be understood – Autoethnographic perspective | Intellect Skip to content
Taboo–Transgression–Transcendence in Art & Science
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533


Thierry Bardini, in his book titled , proposed that the apt name for contemporary art would be junk art. He stressed the significant change taking place in art: that the narration and explanatory discourse run by an artist is more important than the visual outcome of the project. According to the knowledge from STS (especially Bruno Latour’s writing), knowledge production is based on multilevel translations. Art based on science can be seen as a kind of translation as well. The production of biological knowledge and bio art creation looks pretty similar, being based on the same laboratory protocols. However, something interesting is happening regarding bio art’s presentations in galleries or museums. The audience is usually unfamiliar with the laboratory work process, which results in something akin to getting just one layer of that translation cake. What is the role of an institution in making junk art readable? What does being lost in translation mean in this context? To work on the questions, I use my autoethnographic notes from the performative killing of my cells (immortalized ), which took place at the opening of an exhibition titled at Gallery Łaźnia in Gdańsk (18 December 2019).


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): autoethnography; bio art; junk art; liminality; performance; ritual
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